Over six art and cultural events have been added to the calendar for the country’s arts and cultural festivals events.
This follows a consultative meeting the Ministry of Tourism, Wildlife and Culture had with organisers in Mponela, Dowa which among other issues was reviewing the timetable.
Deputy director of museums and monuments Blessings Walawala said in an interview after the meeting that the events are cross-cutting.
“The new calendar will now take on board new festivals including Chibanja Cha Ayao, Art in The Park; for visual artists, Mdauko Wa aTonga (Mwato), Chitipa and Karonga Heritage, Mgumano Wa aSena na aMang’anja and Angaliba Festival, ” he said.
Specific dates for the events will be finalised this week, added Walawala.
“We expect to confirm the dates for those who are yet to consult their directors by close of business on Friday. That done, the draft calendar will be presented to the ministry authorities for their approval before being sent to the designers to start working on it,” he said.
Once every two years, the ministry revises the cultural and artistic events calendar to accommodate new festivals.
“At the core of this activity is the ministry trying to harmonise the artistic and cultural events to minimise the clashes. We also spoke with the organisers on management and organisation of their activities to maintain quality and standards,” said Walawala.
He also said at the review, they invite events organisers to share experiences and best practices in festival/event management as well as establishing means for better coordination and management of the events for the sake of enhancing cultural tourism promotion.
As of now, there are 10 art and cultural events on the calendar. One of the key resolutions at the consultative meeting was events’ organisers agreeing that festivals should stick to their approved dates as opposed to the idea of making it free for all, as proposed by other quarters.
Lake of Stars senior project manager Sharmila Elias said in a separate interview that apart from reviewing the arts calendar, the gathering presented stakeholders with an opportunity to share experiences.
“Meetings like these help us to put our heads together as events managers and start preparing for next year. I hope 2022 will be a new start in as far as festivals are concerned,” she said.
The review is supported by an African Development Bank funded project; Promoting Investment and Competitiveness in the Tourism Sector which has several components.